Thursday, August 07, 2008


My girls picked out some shorts last time we were at Target. They were from the boys section, but they are nice, knee-length, brown plaid shorts with a hint of light green, quite lovely, actually, and not nearly as short and tight as most girls shorts. So I corrected their size selections and dropped them into the cart.

A few days later, my mom arrived for a week long visit. "We need to go to the mall to get the girls some matching shirts for these shorts," she said on her first morning here.

OK . . . that seemed a little weird to me - the shorts are brown and go with pretty much anything, also, it has to be the mall? - but my mom seemed adamant so I didn't protest. Plus, she wants to buy stuff for my kids. Who am I to complain? (Of course I complain. But I still appreciate it!)

As soon as the new air conditioner was installed, on my mom's last morning in town, we finally made it to the mall. Except that we never actually made it inside the mall itself. We parked by one of the anchor stores, walked inside, found a 50%-75% off sale in progress, shopped more than we should have, then went home for lunch and a quick dash to the train station where my mom hopped her ride with about 30 seconds to spare, thanks to CONSTRUCTION everywhere around here.

Before leaving the mall, we did actually stop by the little girls section and get a couple of school things for Ellie that she can wear this fall, while it's still warm.

But the real reason for our trip to the mall became immediately apparent as we walked into the store. We were not there to shop for the girls at all; that was a ruse to get me into a clothing store. She'd been subtly mentioning wanting to buy me something and I'd been less subtly resisting. As we breathed our first grateful gulps of industrial-strength air conditioning, I said, "Oh, look, the fat chicks section." (That would be me. And that would be where we spent almost all of our shopping time. You know how sale racks are crowded with tons of size 0 and 2? Shopping in the fat chicks section is great because I get to be the 0 and 2. Or maybe the 4 and 6. And the stuff there is no longer matronly and ugly. But yet I still have to insult it, and myself, and millions of other women. Hmm. I need to work on that.)

I walked out of the mall with a pair of slack shorts, three blouses, a knit top, a sweater twin set, and a skirt. All cute, contemporary, flattering, and perfectly fitting. She paid for half and I paid for half, because what better to do immediately after buying a new air conditioner than to go clothes shopping?

I can't remember the last time I shopped like that, the last time I got so much new stuff all at once.

"I can't even put away the clothes I have now," I said. "I have clothes. My closet is stuffed!"

"Yeah, but how much of it fits?" my mom asked. (She has a point. Since my size varies, there are usually a couple of seasons worth of clothing in 2-4 sizes hanging in my closet at any given time.) "And besides, you need something presentable," she followed up. She stopped herself just short of critiquing actual pieces of my everyday wardrobe, but her significant glances at over-stretched necklines and unraveling hems did the trick nicely.

Yowch. Perhaps it has been too long since I've shopped for myself.

Note: Tomorrow is 8/8/08 and we all know what that means: THE OLYMPICS! Woohoo! Ladies and gentlemen, start your Tivos!


deb said...

I chuckled my way through this post because I relate to so much of it. It's easy to be a mom (particularly a special needs mom) and put yourself last.

I'm trying something I read with respect to my closet. I went through a recent purge and rehung everthing I'm keeping, with the hangers all turned in the same direction (the round part facing the wall).

As I pull something out to wear it, when it's clean and I rehang it with the hanger facing the opposite way.

The idea is, in a year's time, I will have a clear visual as to what I have and haven't worn.

I am going to be more regimented about releasing things I don't wear - it's rather startling, actually... how much in my closet that is NOT worn.

So much of what is hanging in there is not about "wearing it" - it's more about "hoping to wear it" and it dawned on me that it kinda represents - not who I am, but this former shell of myself that I no longer am. What am I holding onto, exactly? Hmmmmm.

Sorry to get deep in your comment box, lol. I need to journal this RIGHT NOW. :)

Sarahlynn said...

Deb, I am so very very very bad at letting things go. Literally and figuratively (just ask my husband).

The sash from being some sort of jr. princess at some sort of dance in jr. high? I've got that in the basement, along with all of my band and sports "letters" (even though I never owned an actual letterman's jacket).

I have my original skinny jeans (they're too cute to let go) and the outfit I wore to my rehearsal dinner (also the outfit I wore to open presents the day after the wedding and the shirt I wore to the night-before-the-rehearsal dinner) - you get the idea.

But when a "need" arises, I derive great comfort from saying. "I have just the thing! Let me go get that."

I know that I need to purge my closet. I know I do. But . . . that would mean letting things go! I'm still upset about $35 I was never reimbursed by a previous employer . . . when I was 20 years old.